A/N: So I saw the Dark Knight at the midnight premiere, despite the fact that I had to get up at seven in the morning the next day. And you know what? IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT. And then I went and saw it again. And again. And then proceeded to write fanfiction about it. It is hella hard to capture the Joker in words, but I hope I did an okay job at it. Review and let me know, okay? And I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors you might find.

Disclaimer: I don't own The Dark Knight, or Batman, or the Joker, or anything associated with it. Unfortunately.

Maniac

Maniac.

Mmm, the word rolls around his mouth, slips off his tongue, lingers there like a sweet taste.

Ma-ni-ac.

He's progressed from the world of simple criminals, of thugs and kidnappers and murderers. Progressed from the ranks of mobsters and con-artists, people who have the gall to call themselves criminals when they don't know the meaning of the word. They're simple creatures, simple, greedy, pigs who desire and desire.

Simple creatures, with no vision, with no creativity, with no inspiration.

He doesn't belong mixed in with them.

No. He's got a category of his own.

Maniac.

Not criminal, not murderer, not even terrorist. Madman, maybe. But maniac, now that is a good term.

He belongs to that elite class now, where those regular criminals fall in line just like all the other regulars and stare up in wonder, in awe. In fear.

Oh yes, let's not forget fear.

Fear is what he craves, what he cultivates. Fear and chaos. He loves the scent of fear in the air; loves looking down at the streets where the normal people scurry along in their meaningless lives, never knowing that he's about to drop a stick of dynamite on their happy little existences.

He wants them afraid.

He wants that chaos. He wants them to run without knowing where they are running to, wants them to scream and not know that they are screaming.

He wants them to bleed. He wants them buried under the rubble.

He wants them burning.

Maniac.

He's not like those average criminals. His body counts are higher, but really, who is counting? What matters is what he inspires. Anarchy is in the air, and he's got them offering up their savior, their Batman as a sacrifice to appease him.

And oh, how he loves that.

How he loves Batman.

Maniac.

And a maniac like him deserves someone a little better than some straight-laced, nobody cop. The only one who could even think of competing with him in this little game—and game it is, don't think differently for even one second—is someone with as much razzle-dazzle, as much creativity, as much mania as him.

If he is a maniac then what is the Batman?

He can classify Batman: maniac.

He wants the world to burn, wants the world in chaos.

And Batman, deny it all he wants, secretly wants to sit back and watch the flames and toast marshmallows. That's why he fights so hard to put out the flames, because inside he wants to embrace them, and he can't bear to acknowledge the dark little part of himself.

And all people are like that.

He just brings it out, drags out the dirty little secrets and airs them out for the world to see.

But they can't bear the sight. It makes them want to claw their eyes out, makes them want to turn away.

It's his job, his duty, to make them face what they are.

And Batman? Well, he's just a personal challenge. He's just a new toy that he can't put down.

He's just another maniac, waiting to explode.

All he needs is a little push.

Gravity does its job so well.

And it's so much fun when Batman resists. So much fun when he defies gravity, swoops back up.

What kind of man defies gravity?

Only a maniac.

The explosion rocks the quiet night and he sits back and cackles, waiting for the telltale swoop through the night, waiting for his fellow maniac to arrive.

Waiting to push.

Waiting for his newest obsession to arrive.

Maniac.

Why, yes, yes he is.